Here are the couple of comments on received on Wade Burleson's blog. Most of the comments were about his original blog which concerned the Baptist Faith and Message of 1963 vs. the 2000 update. But here are the two brief interactions I had, one with "THY PEACE" and one with Wade.
There is one big difference between Christ's followers and other religions. For Christ's followers the Source is Our Lord Jesus Christ. We draw strength from Him. We draw life from Him. When we love others, it is Christ we is loving through us. For other religions, it is mostly innate or the power of self to love others. There are limits to this love. Whereas the love as shown by a Christian, there are no limits, for Our Source is the giver of this love.
This has to be experienced by a believer, that on their own they have no power to do any good. But with Our Lord Jesus Christ, all things are possible. Here the important thing is to distinguish between what one's self is desiring and what The Spirit is desiring. I honestly believe this is the tripping point for lot of Christians. They intend to do lot of good and they do some good but of their own power, rather than drawing on the power of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And the results do not bear much fruit. Yes, we need discernment in validating the fruit too.
"For Christ's followers the Source is Our Lord Jesus Christ."
Couldn't I interpret the physical sounds of the words "Jesus Christ" and the mental image in your head when you think of Jesus - as the sign rather than the source? After all, surely your mental image is not close to what the actual Jesus looked like and surely the historical Jesus would not have recognized the sounds "Jesus Christ" as His name. In other words, is it the names and mental images or the ESSENCE of something that is important?
" For other religions, it is mostly innate or the power of self to love others."
I'll focus on Buddhism - a main idea of Buddhism is that separate self is an illusion. I'll agree on the "innate" part though. God created man in His own image, after all.
"Whereas the love as shown by a Christian, there are no limits, for Our Source is the giver of this love."
If we are measuring "Love" in quantity, I doubt there are many Christians who show more love than the Dalai Lama. If "love" is meant qualitatively here - that is so subjective that we cannot possibly measure it. We cannot know for sure what others experience. Judgement would be unwise.
thanks for the words,
I would say that the difference between Christianity and Buddhism is that Buddhism uses love as a prescription for life, while Christianity sees love as the evidence of life.
In other words, Jesus Christ is life, and life eternal. Apart from faith in Him, particularly and specifically faith in His work on our behalf (a work that no sinful human being can accomplish), we are separated from God. That work, of course, is the work of "atonement."
Ted Kennedy in his memoirs confessed to feeling guilt for many of his mistakes in life and tried to make "atonement" (his word) for them toward the end of his life. In my view, if somebody tries to "love" to be right with God instead of loving "because" they are right with God, they've got the cart before the horse.
"if somebody tries to "love" to be right with God instead of loving "because" they are right with God, they've got the cart before the horse."
I agree with this sentiment. But I think it's right on track with Buddhism. Transformation on the inside is essential to create true transformation on the outside. The "outside" is evidence of the "inside" as you say. Anything else is unsustainable.